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Parent Groups Wrap Successful Year of Building Community


Clockwise from top left: The PA table at the Volunteer Fair embraces a “Top Gun” theme; members of the FAA provide a feast for hungry arts students; PA and RAC volunteers check in families at the Fall Community Event during Homecoming; GPA members greet families at their table at the Volunteer Fair.

The 2023-24 school year was an extraordinary one for Ravenscroft, as the entire school community celebrated the 21-year tenure of Head of School Doreen Kelly and prepared to transition to new leadership under incoming Head of School Derrick Willard. 

Ravenscroft’s five parent-led groups — Fine Arts Association, Global Parent Ambassadors, Parents’ Association, Parents Supporting Diversity and Inclusion, and Ravenscroft Athletic Club — made a real impact over the course of the school year, supporting community-building events, families and the work of faculty and students in numerous ways. Working together as the Parent Group Leadership Team, executive committee members of these groups engaged in shared Lead From Here workshop training, pooled their financial and volunteer resources to benefit all students and families, and put on some of the most memorable community events of the year.

As we wrap up the year, here’s a recap of each group’s activities and accomplishments.

Fine Arts Association

The FAA supports the Fine Arts Department and serves as a liaison between the Ravenscroft family and the Triangle arts community. FAA volunteers celebrate and support students involved in fine arts, assist with fine arts events such as plays and concerts, and produce the Ravenscroft Fine Arts Program booklet annually. Led this year by executive committee members Amelia Warner, Tiffany Brooks, Kate Rigsbee and Louise Wilson in collaboration with department staff member Elisabeth McChesney, the FAA provided invaluable support and volunteer leadership for the department’s visual arts, theater, choir, strings and band programs — programming that is essential in the development of a well-rounded student.

As part of their year, the FAA:

  • Engaged 157 volunteers for active and behind-the-scenes opportunities, with 66 being repeat volunteers;

  • Hosted reception tables at concerts and during visual art exhibit receptions;

  • Hosted display tables at most ensemble performances, where upcoming dates, Fine Arts Booklets, FAA forms and magnet display, opportunities for engagement and much more information was provided and explained;

  • Provided more than 1,500 locker treats for fine arts students in all three divisions for participating in events and activities;

  • Provided travel kits to all adults traveling to Prague with the Upper School ensembles.

Read about the tremendous year our fine arts students had (and the amazing work of our alumni) at Ravenscroft Magazine>Why Ravenscroft>Fine Arts.

Global Parent Ambassadors

The GPA fosters, supports and nurtures community and relationships among international and all families at Ravenscroft, planning fun, inclusive social and educational experiences throughout the year to help families learn more about the many cultures represented at Ravenscroft. Working in partnership with faculty sponsor Melanie Spransy, Director of Global Education, these volunteers work to support a key aspect of Ravenscroft’s mission and Lead From Here: cultivating citizen leaders who understand and appreciate the value of diverse cultures.

This year, members of GPA had opportunities to connect, share and learn at several events, including a coffee tasting at Cafe NoRa, a holiday luncheon, a tasting tour at Mystic Distillery, a social at Tobacco Road and an end-of-year celebration at Raleigh Beer Garden.

Read stories exploring Ravenscroft’s global programs and perspectives at Ravenscroft Magazine>Features>One World.

Clockwise from top left: Face-painting is part of the fun at RavenFest, the spring community event sponsored by multiple parent-led groups; cast members in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” take a bow; track & field athletes compete at a home meet; a cross-divisional group of students and parents mark Holi with the Upper School’s South Asian Affinity Group.

Parents’ Association

The PA builds community through engagement and volunteerism in order to create a sense of belonging and inclusion for all families, faculty, staff and students. As an organization, the PA plans and coordinates community-wide events (including fall and spring community events, the Online Auction and faculty/staff appreciation meals), provides volunteer time and talent, and offers philanthropic support that benefits Ravenscroft’s programmatic excellence, facilities enhancements and school spirit. 

This year, the executive committee — Tamika Henderson, Jenn Martin, Billie Strickland and Charlotte Perdue — took purposeful steps to make their events and initiatives inclusive and accessible to all parents, including working parents, and collaborated with other parent-led groups to sponsor community-wide events. Highlights included:

  • Supporting student wellness, school spirit and community through funding and volunteers at both grade and divisional levels;

  • Hosting a variety of events, including the Fall Community Event (a fun part of Fall Spirit Week and Homecoming) and the spring-season RavenFest;

  • Retooled their monthly meetings to include opportunities for speakers to share information and expertise with families;

  • Hosted Family Conference Day lunches, divisional breakfasts and Teacher Appreciation Week celebrations to express gratitude and support for all faculty and staff;

  • Celebrated Doreen Kelly’s 21-year tenure with a donation of $21,000 to the Kelly Family Endowment Fund, which supports Lead From Here and financial aid in perpetuity.

Parents Supporting Diversity and Inclusion

PSDI is committed to fostering an environment for Ravenscroft families to be able to understand and appreciate individual differences, ensuring that all individuals feel empowered, valued, supported and better prepared for a culturally diverse society. PSDI organizes parent/guardian and family social events, workshops, guest speakers and more in support of families and of the school’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging — a central component of the school’s mission and Lead From Here.

This year, PSDI hosted Ayo Magwood of Uprooting Inequity, who shared Zoom presentations on “The Origins of Racism” and “Cross-Racial Conflict and Cooperation,” and boosted the Holi celebration hosted by the Upper School’s South Asian Affinity Group.

Read stories that reflect work in support of a welcoming and diverse school community by the institution, students and faculty, and families at Ravenscroft Magazine>Why Ravenscroft>Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Ravenscroft Athletic Club

RAC supports all aspects of athletics at Ravenscroft through the promotion of school spirit, good sportsmanship and volunteer commitment. RAC volunteers are responsible for managing and staffing sports concessions sales; supporting our athletes, teams and  tournaments on campus; and planning the Annual Ravenscroft Golf Classic. Working with Athletics Department liaison Grace Edwards, president Kari Shoemaker rallied athletics-loving parent and student volunteers to help ensure sports events were enjoyable and successful for the entire community.

In 2023-24, RAC:

  • Managed another successful Golf Classic, raising more than $55K for the Athletics and P.E. departments, and worked with the PA and the PGLT to sponsor Homecoming/Fall Fan Day — kicking off the celebration of Doreen Kelly’s tenure with a special “Wear Green for Doreen” event and the presentation of a special football jersey to her at half time;

  • Hosted the Ravenscroft Invitational soccer tournament, the TISAC Wrestling Tournament, the NCISAA Basketball Tournament finals (held over two days during the Winter Break) and the two-day TISAC Track & Field Championship;

  • Acknowledged every sport each season during that season’s fan day and ensured consistency across all teams by having team parent liaisons manage magnet and senior banner purchases;

  • Invested in a second set of mobile bathrooms to help service softball, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse;

  • Organized a coaches appreciation day, with Thanksgiving pies being distributed to all coaches, and sponsored lunches for the inaugural Girls in Sports Symposium;

  • Worked with the Middle School and Lower School celebration committees to create special activities at a home JV/varsity double-header game, and orchestrated the return of mascot Edgar the Raven to many events on campus!

Enjoy stories about Ravenscroft athletics at Ravenscroft Magazine>Why Ravenscroft>Athletics.

Enjoy stories about our many volunteer-supported events and initiatives at Ravenscroft Magazine>Our Ravens>Volunteers. Read our 2020 feature on the founding and impact of each of these groups, Connecting and Collaborating: Parent Groups Build Relationships and Promote Ravenscroft’s Excellence.